NEW YORK – U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power is a driving force urging President Obama to strike in Syria, according to informed Middle Eastern diplomats.
Power was notably absent during an urgent U.N. Security Council meeting last month concerning Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons.
Her name barely pops up in news media coverage of the crisis in Syria.
Power’s most visible reaction to events in Syria so far has been a Tweet accusing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons.
Yet behind the scenes, Power is a central player at pushing Obama to launch a military campaign in Syria, the diplomats told WND.
The diplomats said Power has been working with Syrian foes Turkey and Saudi Arabia as well as with key Syrian opposition figures in trying to convince the White House to act sooner in Syria.
The diplomats say that last week, Power recommended Obama strike in Syria without first consulting Congress, a move from which the president clearly seems to have backed away.
Power’s central involvement may be telling.
As WND has reported, Power served on the advisory board that created the “Responsibility to Protect,” or R2P doctrine that would be used to justify any U.S. strikes in Syria.
The U.S.-NATO bombings in Libya in 2011 have been widely regarded as a test of R2P.
The doctrine, now backed by the United Nations, is based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”
The term “war crimes” has, at times, been used indiscriminately by various U.N.-backed international bodies, including the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which has applied it to Israeli anti-terror operations in Gaza. There is also concern the ICC could be used to prosecute U.S. troops.
Billionaire George Soros’ Open Society is one of only three non-governmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the main body behind promoting the doctrine. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the United Kingdom.
The R2P center’s patrons include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Irish President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu.
Robinson and Tutu have made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.
Annan once famously stated: “State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined – not least by the forces of globalization and international co-operation. States are … instruments at the service of their peoples and not vice versa.”
Samantha Power, Arafat deputy
The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy had a seat on the advisory board of a 2001 commission that originally formulated R2P. The center was led at the time by Samantha Power, who is reported to have heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya.
The 2001 panel was named the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term “Responsibility to Protect” and defined its guidelines.
Also on the advisory board of the commission that founded R2P was Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a virulent denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat.
Soros himself outlined the fundamentals of Responsibility to Protect in a 2004 Foreign Policy journal article titled, “The People’s Sovereignty: How a New Twist on an Old Idea Can Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations.”
In the article, Soros wrote: “True sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments.”
Soros said that if governments “abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified.”
“By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states’ borders to protect the rights of citizens,” he wrote.
“In particular, the principle of the people’s sovereignty can help solve two modern challenges: the obstacles to delivering aid effectively to sovereign states, and the obstacles to global collective action dealing with states experiencing internal conflict.”
Soros activists, global rebalancing
The co-founder of the R2P doctrine is Ramesh Thakur, an activist who recently advocated for a “global rebalancing” and “international redistribution” to create a “New World Order.”
In a piece in the March 2010 issue of the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, Thakur wrote: “Toward a new world order, Westerners must change lifestyles and support international redistribution.”
He was referring to a U.N.-brokered international climate treaty about which he argued, “Developing countries must reorient growth in cleaner and greener directions.”
In the opinion piece, Thakur also discussed recent military engagements and how the financial crisis has impacted the U.S.
“The West’s bullying approach to developing nations won’t work anymore – global power is shifting to Asia,” which he described as part of a “much-needed global moral rebalancing.”
Thakur continued: “Westerners have lost their previous capacity to set standards and rules of behavior for the world. Unless they recognize this reality, there is little prospect of making significant progress in deadlocked international negotiations.”
He contended the “demonstration of the limits to U.S. and NATO power in Iraq and Afghanistan has left many less fearful of ‘superior’ Western power.”
Thakur invented R2P along with Gareth Evans, president emeritus of the International Crisis Group, a Soros-funded “crises management” firm where Soros himself sits on the small board. ICG is one of the main proponents of the international R2P doctrine.
The International Crisis Group is particularly relevant, because along with Soros on the board sits former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who was appointed as the lead investigator into the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks. The ISG has longstanding ties to the opposition in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and other countries that saw their leaders deposed only to be replaced by Islamists, according to Klein and Elliott.
“Responsibility” founders Evans and Thakur served as co-chairmen on the advisory board of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which invented the term “responsibility to protect.”
In his capacity as co-chairman, Evans also played a pivotal role in initiating the fundamental shift from sovereignty as a right to “sovereignty as responsibility.”
Evans officially presented Responsibility to Protect at the July 23, 2009, U.N. General Assembly, which was convened to consider the principle.